#FarrisStory: "Working with my hands is the key to happiness"

"The person who has inspired me the most in my life has been Judson Massingill. I was working in a small auto repair shop when I was 18 and happen to come across an ad in the back for the School of Automotive Machinists. There were pictures of kids like me working on the most beautiful racing engines you could imagine. Since I was living in San Antonio and the school was in Houston it wasn't too far away. So, I went to tour it one weekend and fell in love. I enrolled a month later, bought a small travel trailer and moved to Houston. I spent the next year and a half around Jud, as we liked to call him. I couldn't fathom how anyone could ever come to know so much about engines and quickly took a liking to him. He was brash and quick to tell you what he thought, never holding back on his opinions. I got to work with engines of all types and the machinery necessary to rebuild them. The highlight of my day was always when a new engine fire d to life on the dyno. When they would make a 'power pull' the sound that engine would emit was out of this world! It was during this time that I decided I wanted to make engine building a career.

After graduating, I had dreams of moving to the Carolinas where high end race shops were on every corner. However, as it usually the case with young men...I followed a woman to College Station, Texas where she was going to attend college. There was no racing to speak of but I found a great little machine shop where I applied for an engine building position. The owner took pity on me for my lack of real world experience and hired me at a wage of $6/hour. Despite the pay, I was thrilled to get a chance to start my career as a real engine builder...with some guidance from the owner of course. I knew that I wouldn't be able to keep a roof over my head with my current wage so I took a night job at an auto parts store just so I could work in that glorious machine shop during the day. That job set the wheels in motion for my entire career and now 20 years later and many jobs later I am proud to say that I am still an engine builder and earn a good wage doing it too. I have thought about going to college and getting a degree which would likely put me behind a desk for the rest of my life but to be honest I wouldn't have it any other way. Working with my hands everyday is the key to happiness. Judson does a great thing by molding the minds of the young and showing that you can still learn a craft in this modern era." - Josh from San Antonio, TX